Thursday, October 6, 2011

Self (and Blog) Improvement

What have you been up to lately?   I've been working on quite a few personal goals:

I have a 5k coming up November 6th that I'm running with my cousin and to prepare I've been using the Couch-to-5k program (also known as C25k, found here).  That's  It actually isn't too bad, and it's kind of exciting to see improvements each week (like, dying after three minutes of running vs. one minute of running).  It's a nine week program that has you running/walking 3 days a week that slowly builds up your endurance to go from being a couch potato to being able to run 3 miles or 30 minutes straight without walking by the end of it.  There's a lot of apps out there as well so if you've got a smart phone you can download one to use along with the music on your phone.  I really like the app I've got on my iPhone because I can use it in conjunction with Pandora so I can listen to my music and when it's time to either walk/run the app turns down my music a bit so I can hear the switch, then turns it back up.  Genius.

I've also been trying to pare down our monthly expenses so I've been trying to find some meatless meals to make a few days a week to cut down on our grocery budget.  Luckily, even though Nick is most definitely a meat steak and potatoes kinda guy, he's still really open to trying new things (like my meatless fajitas).  I've also been looking at improving the quality of food that we eat, so I've been looking into CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) around where I live to get fresher, locally grown produce.  We can't always afford organic, but we do try and  CSAs, for the most part, are actually very economical and the produce is fresher (our area harvests the produce the day you pick it up) and don't use harmful pesticides.  You don't get to pick your produce like you do at the store, which means you need to be open to trying new things to use up your produce but that also means you'll get more of a variety of vitamins and nutrients in your diet since you're not always eating the same things (find a CSA in your area here).  I've also been looking into buying sides of beef and chickens that are grass fed and free-range (find meat in your area here).  Buying meat like this is definitely more expensive, however if I can cut down on the amount of meat we eat, we should be able to strike a nice balance.

The post was getting a too little text-heavy, if you ask me.  Solution? Add a cow.

Then, of course, there's the craft room project (read: finish what I've started) and I've been avoiding that (sorry, Mom!) but I have kept to my resolution of not starting anything until said projects are finished.

See, I'm even avoiding talking about the craft room project.

Last, but not last, because I'm sure there's more, is Adobe Illustrator.  I know how to use the basics of the program, but I've been looking at classes to learn the entire program.  I get frustrated a lot because I have a lot of ideas, but I don't know how to use the tools to get it drawn out, so to speak.  I found some local classes that would break cost me, are you ready? $1800.  Yipes.  I'm sure it's a good class, but we don't have that kind of money.  Last night I came across this site, which looks very promising as one) it's free...sort of, and two) it seems like it's really put together well by people that know what they're talking about.  When I say it's sort of free, you do get to watch a certain amount of videos at no cost, but if you'd like to watch more, you have to subscribe which costs $25 monthly for the basic membership, $37.50 for a more in-depth membership, and $375 for a year of the in-depth membership (so you'd save ~$6 a month).  I'm going to try the $25/month membership first, see how it goes, then possibly spring for the year.  It's not just Illustrator instruction though, there's oodles of programs you can learn, all for the base subscription.  Pretty sweet if you ask me, and cheaper then school - because who actually uses their degree anyway? ;D

P.S.  I've been cleaning up the bliggity-blog, too.   At the top of my blog, underneath the title, I'm sure you've all seen the menu links that take you to the tutorials, recipes, downloads, etc.  If you clicked on one, you would have seen a list of links, which was eh.  I've now changed it to buttons with pictures so that you can clearly see which tutorial/recipe/download you're looking for.  Total awesome sauce.

What are some personal/long term goals you're working on, or have just recently accomplished?  What are some things you wish you could do but just don't know how to do it?  Spill it!


Jenn @ Peas and Crayons said...

ahhh we have such similar goals! I am dying to run a 5k and made the switch to local, grass fed, pasture raised beef and, aside from fish, its the only protein I buy right now. We eat it maybe 2-4x per month and our grocery bill has dropped! =)

nice to meet you btw! just found ya today!


On One Hand said...

Nice to meet you too!

Wow! 2-4x a month! What do you cook? I feel so limited when it comes to meatless meals, I'd love to hear your meal ideas! And as far as the 5k goes, check out the Couch to 5k link, it's pretty easy (although I'm only halfway through so I might be eating my words by the end of it LOL)


emma said...

ahh so many projects on!! my husband always says i never make anything for just us so i have a half finished applique quilt that is taking FOR_EVER!! also on the meat front (eugh) as we are in NZ it's cheaper for us to buy a piglet/lamb/calf that is raised on a friends farm.. when it comes to the chop (ha ha) it works out a ton cheaper...

On One Hand said...

Haha It's hard to finish one project when there's SOOO many that you want to do, and Pinterest doesn't help at all! I'm always finding new projects on there, it's getting ridiculous =)

Lucky you! I wish we had friends with a farm! Maybe I need to network a much is shipping from NZ??? ;D


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